I could almost see subscribing to this service for a year. I could drill into coming trends, stories, themes…naaah. I could be cynical and say that there are no new stories and themes in mainstream commercial cinema. When Matt Damon told an Entertainment Weekly writer the other day that movies as we know them will be dead in 25 or 30 years…something went cold in my heart and I haven’t yet recovered.
Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci.
One of the reasons for the coming demise, I believe, is that way, way too many big-studio scripts have been written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who are probably the most successful super-hacks around or are certainly among the most successful in this realm. A 2011 Forbes magazine profile called them “Hollywood’s secret weapons” and “the quiet force behind $3 billion in box office.”
But successfully churning out one highly efficient, mind-numbing screenplay after another (which is not easy…seriously, not everyone can do it), this malignant duo has probably ushered more despair into the hearts of not only rival screenwriters but untold millions of moviegoers…more than you or I could possibly calculate. It’s not that Kurtzman and Orci are bad guys in and of themselves, but they serve soul-less corporate mainstream packagers who pander solely and entirely to Joe Popcorn and Joe Download, and are therefore incurring mountains of ill will and bad karma.
Over the last half-dozen or so years these guys have written or co-written The Island, The Legend of Zorro, Mission: Impossible III, Transformers, Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Cowboys & Aliens, People Like Us (an uncharacteristic stab at modest, human-scale drama that didn’t work), Star Trek Into Darkness, All You Need is Kill, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and…wait, a Sleepy Hollow TV project?
When these guys hit their 50s they’re going to start looking in the bathroom mirror as they’re shaving and go, “My God…what have I done? I mean, I live well in a beautiful house and I’m paying for my children’s ivy league educations but my God!!”